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‘7 hours of terror’: Watch live as scientists land a probe on a comet for the first time ever

Philae Comet Landing

For the first time in the history of mankind, scientists are attempting to make physical contact with a comet. A 10-year project by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft will culminate on Wednesday when scientists attempt to land a probe on a comet for the first time ever. The final stage of the mission — actually landing the probe on the comet — has been described as “seven hours of terror” by a scientist involved with the project, and that terror is about to begin.

The actual touchdown of the probe “Philae” on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is scheduled to take place just before 11:oo a.m. EST / 8:00 a.m. PST on Wednesday, and the attempt is being streamed live, as are the events leading up to tomorrow’s landing.

Do you want to watch history being made (or agonizing heartbreak in the event the landing fails)? ESA is streaming the mission live from space, and the video is embedded below.

Here’s the full schedule of events, courtesy of The Verge:

  • 2PM ET (November 11th): Livestream begins with a media update. Also the first of several go/no-go decision points.
  • 7–8:30PM ET: Two more go/no-go decisions, as the crew confirms the lander is ready for separation.
  • 1AM ET (November 12th): The fourth and final go/no-go decision point; a final preparation maneuver.
  • 4:03AM ET: The scheduled lander separation.
  • 7AM ET: Expected science update/first pictures.
  • 9AM ET: Last preparations before landing.
  • 11AM ET: Scheduled time for landing on the comet, plus or minus 15 minutes.
Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.